Recognizing The Signs of Sexual Abuse In Children v. Adult
Sexual abuse is a devastating experience, regardless of how old the victim is. Unfortunately, the majority of sexual abuse cases go unreported. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately only 30% of sexual assault and abuse cases are reported to authorities. The reason is that most victims are ashamed to discuss what happened to them and believe that they are somehow at fault for the sexual abuse.
One of the important steps we can take to reduce sexual abuse is to recognize the signs of sexual harm and help loved ones that we suspect have been abused to report it to the authorities in order to prevent it from happening to others. The first step in recognizing the signs of sexual abuse is to understand that these signs often differ between adults and children.
Warning Signs Of Sexual Abuse In Adults
Adult victims of sexual abuse and assault experience many different reactions and emotions. For these types of traumatic events, it is important to realize that there is not one “standard” pattern of reaction to the extreme stress of traumatic experiences. The impact of sexual abuse differs from one person to the next and can occur on different levels.
Below is a list of common warning signs to help identify possible sexual abuse in adults:
- Fear responses to reminders of the assault
- Imminent sense of anxiety about feeling safe
- Loss of interest in sex
- Disruptions in close relationship
- Developing a negative self-image or feeling “dirty” inside or out
- Guilty feelings
Indicators Of Sexual Abuse In Children
A parent’s worse nightmare is to find out his or her child has been sexually harmed. Although you may not be able to prevent this horrific event from happening, you can proactively handle the situation by recognizing the following common indicators of sexual abuse in children:
- Self-injury (cutting, burning)
- Inadequate personal hygiene
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuity
- Running away from home
- Suicide attempts
- Fear of intimacy or closeness
- Compulsive eating or dieting
Most sexually abused children may not readily disclose what happened to them. It is up to attentive adults to recognize hints. If you suspect that a loved one, regardless of age, has been sexually harmed, it is imperative to report it to the authorities and seek legal help.
If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or sexually harmed, you should immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.
At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.